The National Institutes of Health (NIH) deleted COVID-19 gene sequences that may have proven valuable to detecting earlier the probability the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated at the Wuhan lab, as was discovered in June 2021.
Now, U.S. district court judge Leonie Brinkema is ordering the NIH to turn over the missing data related to a probe by the group Empower Oversight. The NIH had earlier submitted a motion for summary judgment, which was denied.
“In Empower Oversight’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Eastern District of Virginia, Empower Oversight has filed its opposition to NIH’s motion for summary judgment. In its motion, the NIH sought to evade accountability for violations of its legal obligations to disclose documents under FOIA,” the group stated in July. “According to Empower Oversight’s filing, NIH improperly withheld information gathered in response to questions from Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). Last year, the Senators asked about the agency’s decision to delete coronavirus genetic sequence information from an NIH database at the request of Chinese researchers. NIH has already admitted in the lawsuit that it failed to meet deadlines required by FOIA in responding […]
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